By Daniel Prince
Jon King insists there is “no pressure” on his South Shields team heading into tomorrow’s trip to Penrith in the League Cup.
The Mariners will make the long journey to Penrith full of hope of causing an upset against their Ebac Northern League Division One opponents.
Shields’ seven-game unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday when they lost 4-2 to Heaton Stannington, and King is keen for his side to bounce back strongly.
However, the manager has refused to put his players under any pressure heading into tomorrow’s game.
King said: “There will be no pressure on us at Penrith, so we can enjoy that game before getting back to league action against Washington on Saturday.
“It will be a big test, as they’re a good First Division side, but hopefully we can go up there and get something from the game.
“It will be very tough, considering the travel involved and the fact we have some important players missing, but we’ll do as well as we can and I know we’re capable of getting something.
“We will go there and look to bounce back from the disappointing performance and result on Saturday.”
Chris Feasey is not able to make the trip to Penrith, while Paul Kane and Graham Stephenson are also unavailable as they are on holiday.
It is hoped, though, that striker Stephen Ramsey will be fit to play, despite limping out of the defeat to Heaton Stannington with a groin injury.
Steven Graham and goalkeeper Steven Hubery, who both missed the weekend defeat, will also return to contention.
King added: “The fact we have some players missing will allow us to give a chance to some of those who haven’t featured much lately.
“We’ve got a strong squad of about 20 players, and they will all be used throughout the season.
“This will be a chance for a few of them to stake a claim for a regular starting place.
“When they get their chance, they’ve got to grab it.”
The Mariners are now entering a run of tough away fixtures, but go into that sequence sitting third in Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Overall, King has been delighted with the start to the season, and says his team can progress in the League Cup – as long as they take their “A game” to Penrith.
He continued: “We’ve got a few away games in a row now, and it’s going to be difficult.
“However, if anyone had said to me before the season we’d be sitting third in the table after 12 games, I would have taken their hand off.
“If we play like we can, we know we will be a match for anyone, and now we need to react positively to Saturday’s defeat and put a good performance in.
“We know we will have to bring our A game to make it into the next round.”
Shields will take on Penrith from 7.45pm at The World Group Stadium, and you can follow all the action on Twitter @SouthShieldsFC. Non-Twitter users can visit the page and view the updates at www.twitter.com/southshieldsfc